The Illinois Real Estate License Act makes it illegal for real estate brokers to run blind ads, i.e. ads that don’t include the brokerage name, and rental ads for properties without written authorization to advertise them.
Apartment Savvy is a licensed real estate broker in Illinois, and the main phone number listed on its website is 773-348-8921.
A search on that phone number at Craigslist late yesterday afternoon returned more than 200 results. I viewed the first 20 ads and sampled half a dozen more – and none of the ads contained the legally required broker’s name.
You might think it would be monumentally dumb for a company to violate the law that blatantly – but then Apartment Savvy is a rental service, and flouting the law is the core competency of most of Chicago’s rental services.
I recognized several of the properties advertised from the pictures included with the ads and gave them a call. Representatives of the properties informed me that Apartment Savvy had not been given the legally required written authority to advertise their properties.
Advertising without written authority isn’t as patently dumb as running blind ads with your main company phone number – but it’s equally illegal.
We’ve previously noted Apartment Savvy’s hilariously inept phony reviews at Google Places.
I’ve filed an online complaint against Apartment Savvy with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation – and encourage you to do so if you see any blind ads from rental services. It only takes a few minutes, and will help save renters many hours of sorting through these useless and illegal ads. And, since the State has the power to levy fines of up to $25,000, your complaint can help close Illinois’ budget gap.
You can support the Craigslist Apartment Cleanup by liking its Facebook page.